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  • Giaretta, Paula R.; Suchodolski, Jan S.; Jergens, Albert E.; Steiner, Jorg M.; Lidbury, Jonathan A.; Cook, Audrey K.; Hanifeh, Mohsen; Spillmann, Thomas; Kilpinen, Susanne; Syrja, Pernilla; Rech, Raquel R. (2020)
    The intestinal microbiota is believed to play a role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease in humans and chronic inflammatory enteropathy (CIE) in dogs. While most previous studies have described the gut microbiota using sequencing methods, it is fundamental to assess the spatial distribution of the bacteria for a better understanding of their relationship with the host. The microbiota in the colonic mucosa of 22 dogs with CIE and 11 control dogs was investigated using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with a universal eubacterial probe (EUB338) and specific probes for select bacterial groups. The number of total bacteria labeled with EUB338 probe was lower within the colonic crypts of dogs with CIE compared to controls. Helicobacter spp. and Akkermansia spp. were decreased on the colonic surface and in the crypts of dogs with CIE. Dogs with CIE had increased number of Escherichia coli/Shigella spp. on the colonic surface and within the crypts compared to control dogs. In conclusion, the bacterial microbiota in the colonic mucosa differed between dogs with and without CIE, with depletion of the crypt bacteria in dogs with CIE. The crypt bacterial species that was intimately associated with the host mucosa in control dogs was composed mainly of Helicobacter spp.
  • Douillard, Francois P.; de Vos, Willem M. (2019)
    Over the last decade, there has been an increasing scientific and public interest in bacteria that may positively contribute to human gut health and well-being. This interest is reflected by the ever-increasing number of developed functional food products containing health-promoting bacteria and reaching the market place as well as by the growing revenue and profits of notably bacterial supplements worldwide. Traditionally, the origin of probiotic-marketed bacteria was limited to a rather small number of bacterial species that mostly belong to lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria. Intensifying research efforts on the human gut microbiome offered novel insights into the role of human gut microbiota in health and disease, while also providing a deep and increasingly comprehensive understanding of the bacterial communities present in this complex ecosystem and their interactions with the gut-liver-brain axis. This resulted in rational and systematic approaches to select novel health promoting bacteria or to engineer existing bacteria with enhanced probiotic properties. In parallel, the field of gut microbiomics developed into a fertile framework for the identification, isolation and characterization of a phylogenetically diverse array of health-promoting bacterial species, also called next-generation therapeutic bacteria. The present review will address these developments with specific attention for the selection and improvement of a selected number of health-promoting bacterial species and strains that are extensively studied or hold promise for future food or pharma product development.
  • Swann, J. R.; Rajilic-Stojanovic, M.; Salonen, A.; Sakwinska, O.; Gill, C.; Meynier, A.; Fanca-Berthon, P.; Schelkle, B.; Segata, N.; Shortt, C.; Tuohy, K.; Hasselwander, O. (2020)
    With the growing appreciation for the influence of the intestinal microbiota on human health, there is increasing motivation to design and refine interventions to promote favorable shifts in the microbiota and their interactions with the host. Technological advances have improved our understanding and ability to measure this indigenous population and the impact of such interventions. However, the rapid growth and evolution of the field, as well as the diversity of methods used, parameters measured and populations studied, make it difficult to interpret the significance of the findings and translate their outcomes to the wider population. This can prevent comparisons across studies and hinder the drawing of appropriate conclusions. This review outlines considerations to facilitate the design, implementation and interpretation of human gut microbiota intervention studies relating to foods based upon our current understanding of the intestinal microbiota, its functionality and interactions with the human host. This includes parameters associated with study design, eligibility criteria, statistical considerations, characterization of products and the measurement of compliance. Methodologies and markers to assess compositional and functional changes in the microbiota, following interventions are discussed in addition to approaches to assess changes in microbiota-host interactions and host responses. Last, EU legislative aspects in relation to foods and health claims are presented. While it is appreciated that the field of gastrointestinal microbiology is rapidly evolving, such guidance will assist in the design and interpretation of human gut microbiota interventional studies relating to foods.
  • Murros, Kari E.; Huynh, Anh Vy; Takala, Timo M.; Saris, Per E. J. (2021)
    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the most prevalent movement disorder known and predominantly affects the elderly. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease wherein alpha-synuclein, a neuronal protein, aggregates to form toxic structures in nerve cells. The cause of Parkinson's disease (PD) remains unknown. Intestinal dysfunction and changes in the gut microbiota, common symptoms of PD, are evidently linked to the pathogenesis of PD. Although a multitude of studies have investigated microbial etiologies of PD, the microbial role in disease progression remains unclear. Here, we show that Gram-negative sulfate-reducing bacteria of the genus Desulfovibrio may play a potential role in the development of PD. Conventional and quantitative real-time PCR analysis of feces from twenty PD patients and twenty healthy controls revealed that all PD patients harbored Desulfovibrio bacteria in their gut microbiota and these bacteria were present at higher levels in PD patients than in healthy controls. Additionally, the concentration of Desulfovibrio species correlated with the severity of PD. Desulfovibrio bacteria produce hydrogen sulfide and lipopolysaccharide, and several strains synthesize magnetite, all of which likely induce the oligomerization and aggregation of alpha-synuclein protein. The substances originating from Desulfovibrio bacteria likely take part in pathogenesis of PD. These findings may open new avenues for the treatment of PD and the identification of people at risk for developing PD.
  • Brown, Christopher T.; Davis-Richardson, Austin G.; Giongo, Adriana; Gano, Kelsey A.; Crabb, David B.; Mukherjee, Nabanita; Casella, George; Drew, Jennifer C.; Ilonen, Jorma; Knip, Mikael; Hyoty, Heikki; Veijola, Riitta; Simell, Tuula; Simell, Olli; Neu, Josef; Wasserfall, Clive H.; Schatz, Desmond; Atkinson, Mark A.; Triplett, Eric W. (2011)
  • Shetty, Sudarshan A.; Hugenholtz, Floor; Lahti, Leo; Smidt, Hauke; de Vos, Willem M. (2017)
    High individuality, large complexity and limited understanding of the mechanisms underlying human intestinal microbiome function remain the major challenges for designing beneficial modulation strategies. Exemplified by the analysis of intestinal bacteria in a thousand Western adults, we discuss key concepts of the human intestinal microbiome landscape, i.e. the compositional and functional 'core', the presence of community types and the existence of alternative stable states. Genomic investigation of core taxa revealed functional redundancy, which is expected to stabilize the ecosystem, as well as taxa with specialized functions that have the potential to shape the microbiome landscape. The contrast between Prevotella-and Bacteroides-dominated systems has been well described. However, less known is the effect of not so abundant bacteria, for example, Dialister spp. that have been proposed to exhibit distinct bistable dynamics. Studies employing time-series analysis have highlighted the dynamical variation in the microbiome landscape with and without the effect of defined perturbations, such as the use of antibiotics or dietary changes. We incorporate ecosystem-level observations of the human intestinal microbiota and its keystone species to suggest avenues for designing microbiome modulation strategies to improve host health.
  • Hugenholtz, Floor; de Vos, Willem M. (2018)
    Since the early days of the intestinal microbiota research, mouse models have been used frequently to study the interaction of microbes with their host. However, to translate the knowledge gained from mouse studies to a human situation, the major spatio-temporal similarities and differences between intestinal microbiota in mice and humans need to be considered. This is done here with specific attention for the comparative physiology of the intestinal tract, the effect of dietary patterns and differences in genetics. Detailed phylogenetic and metagenomic analysis showed that while many common genera are found in the human and murine intestine, these differ strongly in abundance and in total only 4% of the bacterial genes are found to share considerable identity. Moreover, a large variety of murine strains is available yet most of the microbiota research is performed in wild-type, inbred strains and their transgenic derivatives. It has become increasingly clear that the providers, rearing facilities and the genetic background of these mice have a significant impact on the microbial composition and this is illustrated with recent experimental data. This may affect the reproducibility of mouse microbiota studies and their conclusions. Hence, future studies should take these into account to truly show the effect of diet, genotype or environmental factors on the microbial composition.
  • Shetty, Sudarshan A; Smidt, Hauke; de Vos, Willem M (2019)
    The human intestinal tract harbors one of the most densely populated and open microbial ecosystems. The application of multi-omics approaches has provided insight into a wide array of complex interactions between the various groups of mainly anaerobic colonic microbes as well as the host-microbe dialogue. Integration of multi-omits techniques in cultivation based experiments that vary in complexity from monocultures to synthetic microbial communities identified key metabolic players in the trophic interactions as well as their ecological dynamics. A synergy between these approaches will be of utmost importance to reconstruct the functional interaction networks at the ecosystem level within the human intestinal microbiome. The improved understanding of microbiome functioning at ecosystem level will further aid in developing better predictive models and design of effective microbiome modulation strategies for health benefits.
  • Brodmann, Theodor; Endo, Akihito; Gueimonde, Miguel; Vinderola, Gabriel; Kneifel, Wolfgang; de Vos, Willem M.; Salminen, Seppo; Gomez-Gallego, Carlos (2017)
    Novel microbes are either newly isolated genera and species from natural sources or bacterial strains derived from existing bacteria. Novel microbes are gaining increasing attention for the general aims to preserve and modify foods and to modulate gut microbiota. The use of novel microbes to improve health outcomes is of particular interest because growing evidence points to the importance of gut microbiota in human health. As well, some recently isolated microorganisms have promise for use as probiotics, although in-depth assessment of their safety is necessary. Recent examples of microorganisms calling for more detailed evaluation include Bacteroides xylanisolvens, Akkermansia muciniphila, fructophilic lactic acid bacteria (FLAB), and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii. This paper discusses each candidate's safety evaluation for novel food or novel food ingredient approval according to European Union (EU) regulations. The factors evaluated include their beneficial properties, antibiotic resistance profiling, history of safe use (if available), publication of the genomic sequence, toxicological studies in agreement with novel food regulations, and the qualified presumptions of safety. Sufficient evidences have made possible to support and authorize the use of heat-inactivated B. xylanisolvens in the European Union. In the case of A. muciniphila, the discussion focuses on earlier safety studies and the strain's suitability. FLAB are also subjected to standard safety assessments, which, along with their proximity to lactic acid bacteria generally considered to be safe, may lead to novel food authorization in the future. Further research with F. prausnitzii will increase knowledge about its safety and probiotic properties and may lead to its future use as novel food. Upcoming changes in EUU Regulation 2015/2283 on novel food will facilitate the authorization of future novel products and might increase the presence of novel microbes in the food market.
  • Depommier, Clara; Everard, Amandine; Druart, Celine; Maiter, Dominique; Thissen, Jean-Paul; Loumaye, Audrey; Hermans, Michel P.; Delzenne, Nathalie M.; de Vos, Willem M.; Cani, Patrice D. (2021)
    Reduction of A. muciniphila relative abundance in the gut microbiota is a widely accepted signature associated with obesity-related metabolic disorders. Using untargeted metabolomics profiling of fasting plasma, our study aimed at identifying metabolic signatures associated with beneficial properties of alive and pasteurized A. muciniphila when administrated to a cohort of insulin-resistant individuals with metabolic syndrome. Our data highlighted either shared or specific alterations in the metabolome according to the form of A. muciniphila administered with respect to a control group. Common responses encompassed modulation of amino acid metabolism, characterized by reduced levels of arginine and alanine, alongside several intermediates of tyrosine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and glutathione metabolism. The global increase in levels of acylcarnitines together with specific modulation of acetoacetate also suggested induction of ketogenesis through enhanced beta-oxidation. Moreover, our data pinpointed some metabolites of interest considering their emergence as substantial compounds pertaining to health and diseases in the more recent literature.
  • Flandroy, Lucette; Poutahidis, Theofilos; Berg, Gabriele; Clarke, Gerard; Dao, Maria-Carlota; Decaestecker, Ellen; Furman, Eeva; Haahtela, Tari; Massart, Sebastien; Plovier, Hubert; Sanz, Yolanda; Rook, Graham (2018)
    Plants, animals and humans, are colonized by microorganisms (microbiota) and transiently exposed to countless others. The microbiota affects the development and function of essentially all organ systems, and contributes to adaptation and evolution, while protecting against pathogenic microorganisms and toxins. Genetics and lifestyle factors, including diet, antibiotics and other drugs, and exposure to the natural environment, affect the composition of the microbiota, which influences host health through modulation of interrelated physiological systems. These include immune system development and regulation, metabolic and endocrine pathways, brain function and epigenetic modification of the genome. Importantly, parental microbiotas have transgenerational impacts on the health of progeny. Humans, animals and plants share similar relationships with microbes. Research paradigms from humans and other mammals, amphibians, insects, planktonic crustaceans and plants demonstrate the influence of environmental microbial ecosystems on the microbiota and health of organisms, and indicate links between environmental and internal microbial diversity and good health. Therefore, overlapping compositions, and interconnected roles of microbes in human, animal and plant health should be considered within the broader context of terrestrial and aquatic microbial ecosystems that are challenged by the human lifestyle and by agricultural and industrial activities. Here, we propose research priorities and organizational, educational and administrative measures that will help to identify safe microbe-associated health-promoting modalities and practices. In the spirit of an expanding version of "One health" that includes environmental health and its relation to human cultures and habits (EcoHealth), we urge that the lifestyle-microbiota-human health nexus be taken into account in societal decision making. (C) 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Hiippala, Kaisa; Jouhten, Hanne; Ronkainen, Aki; Hartikainen, Anna; Kainulainen, Veera; Jalanka, Jonna; Satokari, Reetta (2018)
    The intestinal microbiota, composed of pro- and anti-inflammatory microbes, has an essential role in maintaining gut homeostasis and functionality. An overly hygienic lifestyle, consumption of processed and fiber-poor foods, or antibiotics are major factors modulating the microbiota and possibly leading to longstanding dysbiosis. Dysbiotic microbiota is characterized to have altered composition, reduced diversity and stability, as well as increased levels of lipopolysaccharide-containing, proinflammatory bacteria. Specific commensal species as novel probiotics, so-called next-generation probiotics, could restore the intestinal health by means of attenuating inflammation and strengthening the epithelial barrier. In this review we summarize the latest findings considering the beneficial effects of the promising commensals across all major intestinal phyla. These include the already well-known bifidobacteria, which use extracellular structures or secreted substances to promote intestinal health. Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Roseburia intestinalis, and Eubacterium hallii metabolize dietary fibers as major short-chain fatty acid producers providing energy sources for enterocytes and achieving anti-inflammatory effects in the gut. Akkermansia muciniphila exerts beneficial action in metabolic diseases and fortifies the barrier function. The health-promoting effects of Bacteroides species are relatively recently discovered with the findings of excreted immunomodulatory molecules. These promising, unconventional probiotics could be a part of biotherapeutic strategies in the future.
  • Druart, Celine; Plovier, Hubert; Van Hul, Matthias; Brient, Alizee; Phipps, Kirt R.; Vos, Willem M.; Cani, Patrice D. (2021)
    Gut microorganisms are vital for many aspects of human health, and the commensal bacteriumAkkermansia muciniphilahas repeatedly been identified as a key component of intestinal microbiota. Reductions inA. muciniphilaabundance are associated with increased prevalence of metabolic disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. It was recently discovered that administration ofA. muciniphilahas beneficial effects and that these are not diminished, but rather enhanced after pasteurization. PasteurizedA. muciniphilais proposed for use as a food ingredient, and was therefore subjected to a nonclinical safety assessment, comprising genotoxicity assays (bacterial reverse mutation and in vitro mammalian cell micronucleus tests) and a 90-day toxicity study. For the latter, Han Wistar rats were administered with the vehicle or pasteurizedA. muciniphilaat doses of 75, 375 or 1500 mg/kg body weight/day (equivalent to 4.8 x 10(9), 2.4 x 10(10), or 9.6 x 10(10)A. muciniphilacells/kg body weight/day) by oral gavage for 90 consecutive days. The study assessed potential effects on clinical observations (including detailed arena observations and a modified Irwin test), body weight, food and water consumption, clinical pathology, organ weights, and macroscopic and microscopic pathology. The results of both in vitro genotoxicity studies were negative. No test item-related adverse effects were observed in the 90-day study; therefore, 1500 mg/kg body weight/day (the highest dose tested, equivalent to 9.6 x 10(10)A. muciniphilacells/kg body weight/day) was established as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level. These results support that pasteurizedA. muciniphilais safe for use as a food ingredient.